Waihi Gold Co. Targets Open Pit Mine In Coromandel Park
Newmont Waihi Gold’s joint-venture gold exploration partner Glass Earth Gold (GEG) says Newmont’s focus (in pristine Coromandel Park land near Whangamata) is finding “a major new gold deposit in the style of Newmont’s Martha Hill mine in Waihi”, (a low grade, large scale, open pit gold mine). The statement is made in GEG’s “Exploration Overview” – October 2009. Its Media Statement 26 March 2010 says the area has “characteristics similar to the Martha mine.” Newmont manages GEG’s Whangamata exploration activities.
But Newmont has repeatedly said any new interest is solely in underground mining. eg its Press release 15 March 2010 says “Newmont’s exploration interest is in high grade deposits …that can be mined ….by underground methods.”“Newmont is speaking out of both sides of its mouth about its intentions”, says Coromandel Watchdog spokesperson Denis Tegg. “Newmont is actively exploring for another large-scale low grade open pit mine like the one it operates in Waihi. It is doing so in the pristine, high conservation value Wentworth and Parakawai valleys near Whangamata, in the Coromandel Conservation Park.” If they were to find an open cast resource it defies belief that Newmont would leave it intouched.”
The Government’s own discussion paper (p.23) says of the Coromandel; “the potential for finding orebodies similar to those at Martha Hill and Golden Cross.(both massive open pit gold mines) . is very high.”“PM John Key’s recent off-the-cuff statement that he “rules out” open pit mining on the Coromandel, means nothing without a legislative ban, and he has been contradicted by his own Minister. Mr. Brownlee would not rule out open pit mining (NZ Herald 6 March), and made a vague and confusing statement on TV3’s The Nation on 27 March. Tellingly, neither of them has committed the Government to a law change banning open pit mining on the Coromandel, or said just which parts of the Peninsula any ban would cover.” said Mr. Tegg.
“Mining interests and the Government have been in bed together on this issue since at least 2006 and they are more than just “good friends.” (see NZ Herald 28 March) . Their prime target is open-pit mines on the Coromandel. The carefully scripted public relations campaign from Newmont and the Government about “surgical mining” in low conservation areas, has been exposed as a load of bollocks ” said Mr. Tegg.
1.. both the Otahu and Parakawai ecological reserves are very close to/overlap GEG’s exploration licence 40813. See map. (approx location of reserves shown in red) . The Govt wishes to open both reserves to mining in its Review Paper.
Denis Tegg – Spokesperson for Coromandel Watchdog of Hauraki www.watchdog.org.nz